During winter recess the Rice campus is probably at its emptiest, as students living in the residential colleges must leave shortly after the fall semester ends. But the past two winters have not been normal, and for the second time, students with approval from the Dean of Undergraduates’ office were permitted to remain in their dorms over the recent winter recess.
The basketball team had just recently won their season opener 60-15 while a contract for the construction of what would become Hanszen Old Section was awarded in the week that the very first issue of the Thresher was printed 106 years ago, January 15, 1916.
Throughout the winter recess, the prospect of another semester of online learning led me to continuously hit the Gmail refresh button, waiting for a sign of what my academic future would hold. Peer institutions, one by one, enrolled themselves in Zoom University, and Rice inevitably followed. Then I realized I needed to buy the blue light glasses that had been sitting in my Amazon cart for six months.
Until an earthquake struck northern California, Provost Reginald DesRoches intended to be a mechanical engineer. While studying for his Ph.D. at University of California, Berkeley, DesRoches said he was used to feeling tremors in the ground — but this earthquake, approximately a 7.0 on the Richter scale, was different.
In high school, Chidera Ibezue knew that she wanted to pursue medicine. Ibezue said community service and volunteer work helped her realize that. She entered Rice as a biochemistry major but soon shifted to a major in psychology (with a minor in biochemistry and cell biology), which makes a lot of sense for her career interest, she said.
For as long as she could remember, Peggy Polydoros has wanted to study in Greece. Polydoros, a Will Rice College senior, is a Greek-American majoring in Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations, so living in Greece was a perfect match for her personal and professional interests, she said. But when the pandemic hit, her plans were disrupted — in the face of surging coronavirus cases and major uncertainty about what travel would look like, she had a tough decision to make about whether to study abroad.
At Rice, Ryan Emelle has found community in different places. Her residential college is one of them: according to Emelle, the residential college system provides a loving and supportive community. When she was applying to college, Rice’s residential college system stood out, she said.
Before Glenn Youngkin (Will Rice College ’90) was elected governor of Virginia, he was once a Rice student; double majoring in mechanical engineering and managerial studies, Youngkin also played on the Owls’ basketball team.
Last school year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, musical groups at Rice were forced to adapt. Adjustments included wearing special masks, using horn covers and rehearsing outdoors. As Rice rolls back COVID health measures this semester, musical groups have been able to practice and perform live music with fewer restrictions. The Thresher spoke with three students from different instrument ensembles to find out how playing music has changed.
Edgar Odell Lovett’s eyeglasses, a stuffed animal, the crests of Rice’s 11 residential colleges and the logo of the Marching Owl Band were all among the objects that NASA astronaut Shannon Walker, Baker College ’87, MS ’92, Ph.D. ’93, brought to space aboard the first fully operational, crewed, commercial spaceflight in history. Walker visited campus on Oct. 12 to commemorate Rice Day, the day Rice University was formally opened in 1912. In an in-person talk, she discussed her recent trip to the International Space Station on the SpaceX CrewOne mission and returned the objects to campus organizations.
As the deadline to register for spring semester courses quickly approaches, the pressure to craft the perfect schedule grows. But whether you are majoring in engineering, social policy analysis, computer science or English, somewhere in our time at Rice, we must satisfy all of the distribution requirements. Trying to find and fit three courses in each of the three distribution categories into your schedule may seem daunting, but to make planning a little bit easier, the Thresher has compiled a list of interesting courses without prerequisites that can fulfill some graduation requirements.
Nestled between four South colleges is the John and Anne Grove, a tree-lined path of decomposed granite that stretches from Sid Richardson College to the Inner Loop. Trees aren’t the only thing that have blossomed in the shaded quadrangle — in the 1960s, love did too. John and Anne Mullen, the namesakes and benefactors of the Grove, met and fell in love in the same area where Rice students now walk everyday.